A future leader in the making; Ollie’s journey with Aviva

Our Sales & Marketing Manager, Oliver Burns, has been undertaking a course with Aviva over the last two years designed to help him reach his leadership potential. Here he explains what the course has meant to him and how he’s able to put this into practice in the work place.

In October 2019 I was fortunate enough to be selected to join Aviva’s third cohort of their Future Leader Programme, also known as FLP for short. The FLP is a Chartered Insurance Institute recognised course that helps imbue students with lessons from business leaders across insurance. Having been kindly supported by Jon, Malcolm & Tim to apply I can truly say the course has been a business-life changing thing.

While delayed throughout the pandemic, the course has touched on a number of subjects including staff wellbeing & training, financials, business planning, change management and more. Particular highlights for me included; learning the skills involved in Personality Mapping which helps me to help others reach their full potential.  Also, the session on the “Elevator Pitch” – learning how to sell an idea or concept in 60 seconds or less.

As part of the course I was also invited to this year’s Aviva 110 conference which was a great opportunity to meet like minded business leaders and Aviva senior managers. A great place for networking too, the 2 day event was also an opportunity to practice what we’d learnt in trying to pitch our group business idea of an AI powered virtual assistant.

This pitch culminated in November when our group was tasked with presenting our business idea to some of the Aviva board. While sadly we didn’t win it was a fantastic experience to pitch to senior leaders and deliver a concept in a timely, relevant and easy to understand format.

Since doing the course we’ve been able to implement much of the learning from it into our business, including how we approach problem solving through to staff incentives and rewards.

I’m grateful to all at County who have been supportive in my role in the course. While I’ve still got another year of it to go I’m really looking forward to further developing my leadership skills and applying these at County.